Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Iraq-Shell gas deal delayed or not?

Once again Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussein al-Shahristani issues statements differ from the ones his close aides issue and that could explain a gap between the politician and the technocrat inside the Ministry of Oil. Or what the politician and the technocrat want.

Few days ago, senior Deputy Oil Minister, Ahmed al-Shamaa told Reuters that the Iraq-Royal Dutch Shell final deal to make use of the flared gas in the south was likely to be postponed until after the Jan. 16 national elections, citing current political strife. It was planned to be finalized this month.

But al-Shahristani, a politician more than anything else, denied Wednesday that the multi-billion-dollar deal will be postponed, the Dow Jones Newswire's Hassan Hafidh reported from Vienna. "No," al-Shahristani told reporters when asked if the deal is going to be postponed. "We are negotiating with Shell," he added.

Al-Shahristani is in dire need to collect as much as he can from the "achievements cards" to face his political foes when summon by the parliament and to enhance his position when runs in the coming elections along with Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

While al-Shamaa, an advocate to the deal, is realizing that he deal will be dead if it will be negotiated by the current government.Al-Shamaa's comments also reflected he desire of Shell for not signing the deal with outgoing government.


Joel Wing said...

Side note,

Anyone got friends or family in Basra? This guy who use to work for Prince Hassan of Jordan claims that people in Basra speak Persian/Farsi more than Arabic. He's making the comments here at Marc Lynch's blog on Foreign Policy.

The laguage in Basra.
by janbekster on Sat, 09/12/2009 - 4:37pm

I did not say that Presian (Farisi) is an official language in Basra, though its usage in the city and in the Governorate on the streets, has surpassed Arabic (Arabic and Kurdish being the official languages of Iraq). This fact is no more a reason to have Basra being annexed by Iran, than the fact that many of the leadership of "al Dawa Party" and the "Council for the Revolution", are of Persian origin and Persian (Farisi) speakers; even the revered and much respected Ayattullah Sistani; as the name indicates, is not a reason for the Shi'a of Iran to follow Qom. What one is saying, is neither a revelation; as it has already been revealed by many observers, and ceratinly not an insider knowledge; especially that one is actually a distant outsider. However, having an insider knowledge would indicate that one has an official position of sorts; and one has neither an official nor unofficial position, which would have meant that, I couldn't devulge insider knowledge.

Baghdad's Kassakhoon said...


Yes there are people in provinces of Basra, Karbala and Najaf who speak Farsi but when we say it "has surpassed" Arabic that is exaggerated.